|Barra da Tijuca Photos
May 7, 1952
Cropped and enlarged image from Photo #4
Of all photographs of alleged UFOs, the Barra da Tijuca series is considered
by the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO) to be "one of
the best (and possibly the best) on record." However, the authenticity of
the photos has been challenged; and some photo analysts suspect a hoax.
The five pictures were taken by press photographer Ed Keffel, while in
the company of reporter Joao Martins (according to their statements), and
first published by O Cruzeiro magazine in its May 24, 1952, issue.
It is claimed that the photos were actually taken on the seventh of that month,
when a UFO -- a flying disk - was allegedly spotted in the vicinity of Barra
da Tijuca, Brazil.
Photographs #1 thru #5. Click on link for full image.
Photos Cropped & Enlarged
The Brazilian Air Force conducted an investigation and released a positive
statement that the photos were genuine. However, their report was not released
to the public until 1959. It was first publicized by Fernando Cleto, an official
of the Bank of Brazil, through a television program called "The Enigma of
Space." Mr. Cleto had carried on a quiet investigation of UFOs for years and
received the cooperation of the Brazilian "Investigation Commission on Flying
Saucers", organized by the Brazilian Air Force under the command of
Colonel Joao Adil de Oliviera.
According to Mr. Cleto:
|On May 7, 1952, Joao Martins and Ed Keffel went to the place called
Barra da Tijuca to do a routine job for their magazine. At 4:30 P.M.,
Martins suddenly spotted an object approaching in the air at high
speed. He thought at first it was an airplane he was facing [see photo
#1]. It looked like an airplane. There was still something strange, Martins
realized. That "plane" was flying sideways. He shouted: "What the
devil is that?" Keffel had his Rollei-flex at hand and Martins yelled:
"Shoot, Keffel!" Ed Keffel grabbed his loaded camera and got five pictures
in about sixty seconds, thus obtaining the most sensational photographic
sequence of a flying disk.
The following is a personal statement written by Mr. Martins, which was
also endorsed and cosigned by Mr. Keffel:
|I herewith confirm that in May 1952, I saw an "unidentified aerial
object" at Barra da Tijuca, as was published, with every detail, in the
review [magazine] 0 Cruzeiro at the time. Together with me was
the photographer-reporter Ed Keffel, an exemplary professional, well-succeeded
and well-respected for his honesty and seriousness, who obtained a series
of photos of the above-referred object. These photos were also published
by the above-mentioned review, for which both of us worked at the time.
Besides being a journalist, I am also an engineer; and I also have
a large experience and knowledge of meteorological, astronomical, and
optical phenomena. I have experience of all known types of aircraft and
can state that the referred object cannot be framed in any natural phenomena
or aircraft of my knowledge.
Neither I nor Ed Keffel tried to derive any financial profit from the
fact. We were at the time exclusively contracted by that review [0
Cruzeiro], and there we handed in our report and the photos, without
receiving any extra bonus for either. Neither did we receive-nor did we
wish to-any payment from anybody, either for the account or for the photos
or for the appearances we were practically obliged to make on different
occasions on television.. I narrated the fact in free talks to military
authorities and university auditoriums.
I do not know what that object was, and because of this, I classified
it in the category of "unidentified flying object", commonly called a
"flying saucer." The incident, besides the annoyances it entailed, contrived
to call my attention on the subject as an only advantage, and consequently
I have done research on the subject with the greatest detachment, both
in sightings here in Brazil and abroad. . .
As to the position of the Sun and the shadows on the foliage, as seen
in one of the photos of Barra da Tijuca, it is easy to confirm them. One
need only go there; and it is easy to reach the spot, at the same hour
and time of year corresponding to the fact. This, in fact, has already
been done, back in 1952, by technicians of the Brazilian Air Force,
as was later divulged in detail by researcher Cleto Nunes by means of
TV and the Press.
Criticism, denial of the facts, or discussions by whoever does not
know the subject or knows it from a distance or through reading third-hand
publications, that are usually incorrect, can only be due to intolerance
or dishonesty of purpose. As to me, I ignore them, for I am a professional
who does not base his career on that report, nor have I the time to lose
in sterile debates. I reported merely what I saw and whatever I had to
say has been said.
Skeptics contend that in photo # 4 (see enlargement) the shadows on the
foliage indicate lighting from the right, while the light on the object seems
to come from the left. Jim Lorenzen, director of APRO, disputes this
finding by stating: "To shine from the right, the Sun would have to shine
from the southwest quadrant of the sky- a thing that it never does in that
part of Brazil. Moreover, the growth on the hillside is complex; and generally
no clear object-and-shadow pattern exists."
The inconsistency of shadows was first noted in the literature by Donald
Menzel and Lyle Boyd in their book The World of Flying Saucers
(1963); this finding was endorsed by William K. Hartmann, who later
analyzed the photos for the University of Colorado UFO Project. Hartmann
stated: "This case is presented as an example of photographs which have been
described as incontrovertible evidence of flying saucers, yet which contain
a simple and obvious internal inconsistency."
Source: Ronald Story's The Encyclopedia of UFOs, pages 41-45.